By Amanda Mfuphi (@mfuphi)
Whether you refer to them as compact crossover vehicles or SUVs, the vehicles in these segments appear to have won the hearts of many South Africans in the recent past. One can immediately understand why these vehicles would be a favourite to a buyer, for one I can think of the ground clearance they provide and the spacious cabin they have. Despite these benefits proffered by these cars, we all still want a car that looks and feels luxurious so we can justify those debit orders that visit our lives on a monthly basis.
So what do you do if you are a young man (single I might add and looking for that special lady) in the SUV market who is looking for a car which feels luxurious? You can go for the BMW X3 or the Mercedes Benz GLC – those scream luxury vehicles to me. However, should your budget dictate otherwise, the Mazda CX-5 may is not a bad option.
Recently we had the new Mazda CX-5 2.0L Dynamic Auto on test. I must say, at first glance I was blown away by the menacing front grille and the LED headlights. Our test car came in a dark navy colour and this colour just completed the appealing exterior features of the vehicle. From approach the vehicle gave a panther-like look which seemed to be calling me to take it and pounce on the open road. The Mazda CX-5’s exterior looks are testament to the car’s popularity.
On the interior front, our test Mazda CX-5 we had a comfortable and luxurious feel similar to that you find in a BMW interior (yes, I said it). The vehicle came with leather seats and a leather surface for the dashboard, and not the normal hard plastics we see in some of the vehicles in its segment. The vehicle has a seven-inch infotainment screen which is controlled through a rotary control setup or knob that is similar to the ones you would find in premium offerings in the segment. From a connectivity perspective, the Mazda CX-5 has all of the standard tech features you find in most of the cars in the segment such as, Bluetooth connectivity, Hands-free system for your phone and (not one but) two USB ports. Although I do not have to necessarily say it but the vehicle has ample cabin and boot space. A family of five or five adventure seeking adults would fit comfortably in there. There will also be minimal fights about luggage as the boot is quite generous.
I drove the car to and from work, and to shops and the car seemed on the thirsty side for city driving averaging 9.5L/100km. Interestingly, the fuel consumption seemed like a dream on the open road. For instance, we drove down to KwaZulu-Natal in the Oribi area and it comfortably did the 8 hour drive from Johannesburg with less than one full tank. On the drive down to KwaZulu-Natal the vehicle averaged 8.5L/100km and on the up drive it did 8.1L/100km.
Our test Mazda CX-5 came standard with 19inch wheels and it handled itself perfectly. The cabin was fairly quiet when we took the vehicle on the dirt road in the Oribi area which is known for its magnificent views of the gorge. I did not have any problems with getting power from our test Mazda CX-5’s 2.0 naturally aspirated engine and the vehicle actually maintained its power even on inclines.
The one dislike I had about the vehicle is its transitioning between gears. The vehicle felt as though the engine was under pressure most times when it was changing gears. It was loud and I could imagine a driver getting uncomfortable. The 6 speed automatic engine’s gear selection could be smoother.
The facts of the Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto are below:
Power: 121 kW @ 6 000 r/min
Torque: 210 N.m @ 4 000 r/min
Fuel Consumption: 6.8 L/100 km (claimed)
Maintenance Plan: 3-year/unlimited kilometre service plan and warranty
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